The ground was fast approaching, and Pyrope still wasn’t able to fully open her wings to stop her descent. Annalice was petrified, for she was reaching out trying to help Pyrope from wherever she was.
“Open your wings Pyrope; don’t worry about the trees around you, just open your wings!” Annalice was frightened for Pyrope but didn’t know what she could do to help her, this scared her, for she had to face the idea that she might lose her dragon.
As the ground continued to speed towards Pyrope saw something move around her. The sunlight poured through where the green had been above her, and a swirl of brown surrounded her, slowing her dangerous descent. A ripple of electricity streaked across the brown, none of the stream touched her but rather passed over her like water. Frightened she reached out to Annalice for comfort, but she could not feel her rider. With an empty sensation quickly welling up inside of her she curled up, pulling her extremities in to her, in attempts to keep safe.
“Pyrope, where are you?” Annalice was running towards the swirl of brown that had come up out of nowhere, she kept reaching out with her mind not knowing if it was doing anything. But she felt empty, like she had before meeting Pyrope, something that she never wanted to be was to be alone; not when she had found out that there were dragons in the world, and certainly not when her dragon was close to her but seemingly miles away.
Pyrope was lowered to the ground gingerly; a presence intruded her mind, one much older than her. It was a foreign presence that she had felt lying dormant when she first had walked among the trees the first time, but this time the presence was filling her, pushing its way into the crevices of her being. It looked at her first memories of Annalice, when she had followed her through the trees; when she had touched Annalice on the hand and left a small mark on her left palm. They kept digging, finding out everything out about her, about her abilities with flight and fire. Multiple presences were digging through her memories, when one was done looking at a memory another looked through it, making sure that nothing had missed.
It seemed like hours until the presences stopped bombarding Pyrope’s mind, for when they stopped she lifted her head from where she had been put on the ground. Pyrope was situated underneath a grand oak tree, its branches stretched out over the meadow for a great distance, for its shadow reached the lake under the waterfall. Its height was more intense when underneath I than being in the air, for Pyrope felt insignificant in size compared to it. Looking around her, she tried to find Annalice, but everywhere she looked there was brown, flying through the air or walking around on the ground. There was a few that were in her direct area, they made a ring around Pyrope, as though they needed to protect her from someone or something.
Standing up Pyrope opened up her wings and lifted herself into the air to see if she could spot Annalice, she wasn’t able to get very high in the air, as a brown tail wrapped itself around the midsection pulling her back to where she had been.
Letting out a cry Pyrope went limp giving into the larger creatures that held her captive, she guessed they were other dragons, but they wouldn’t let her get to her rider. All that Pyrope wanted was safety, and that safety was with Annalice.
“Do not try to leave little hatchling, we keep you here for your safety. For there is a human about that could kill you easily.” One of the brown dragons was attempting their best to consul Pyrope, but to no avail.
“I want Annalice! Let me see her, she is my rider!” Pyrope whimpered where she sat, the dragons watching her turned their heads to look at her; there was compassion in their eyes. But Pyrope didn’t trust them, as they were keeping her from her rider.
One of the brown dragons turned its head to the side to see a frantic black haired girl running towards it; the dragon drew its section of the circle tighter, hemming Pyrope further into the circle. A deep rumble emanated from the dragon that had moved, giving Annalice a warning, but Annalice wasn’t about to listen to the warning; for she had already lined herself up to be able to vault herself over the brown dragon.
The dragon attempted to stop Annalice as she dashed towards it, the dragon’s tail lashed out towards her trying to wrapped around her abdomen, Annalice hit the ground and rolled into an ecstatic Pyrope. The dragon turned on Annalice, but stopped short when it saw that Annalice was embracing Pyrope instead of her hurting her. The other dragons were confused about the proceedings, for they had not seen a human since they had started to hibernate after the battles that ended their endangerment. The last human had sat with her dragon on the stone slab and wasted away with an egg on her lap, a crimson red Shimmer egg; the possibility of being found by a human outside of the council was indeed a marvel.
“What in the blazes is going on here, I thought that you Eels were hibernating!” A man’s voice boomed in the valley. The dragons all turned to look at him; they inclined their heads when they laid eyes on him, as though he held a position higher than them.
Conversing took place between the man and the dragons, as to what was said Annalice and Pyrope didn’t know as they were glad to be with one another once more.
“I never thought that I would live to see the return of the riders, always thought my mother was crazy when she said that someone would find the place soon; enough about history. What about you, the first rider in over five hundred years!” The man walked over to Annalice and squatted down in front of her, eyeing her with intensity as if her next few words decided the fate of the world.
“I … well, I…” Lost for words Annalice sat clutching Pyrope who had rested her head on her lap.
“What does the young dragon have to say for itself?”
Pyrope barred her teeth and growled, a small tendril of smoke trailed out from her mouth as she moved herself to protect Annalice more.
“I am not here to hurt either of you; I am here to teach you. About this place, and what the two of you can do as dragon and rider. But knowing how you got in will help me, as it will let me know where you are from. As time in this valley goes by at different rate compared to elsewhere.” The man was trying his hardest to be welcoming to Annalice but he could tell that she was terrified of another person being there.
“My mother taught me to not talk to strangers, and you are the manifestation of that definition. So my dragon and I are going to be leaving now.” Annalice nudged Pyrope and pointed towards the waterfall, towards safety.
“If you leave now, you will never be able to re-enter. The Dragon Council was alerted to an unauthorized person entering the valley, if you want to be able to come and go with your dragon I have to teach you the ways of the flame.” Annalice turned and looked at the man, she was certain he had hit his head, but he sounded as though he was confident about what he was speaking about. “Would you like to know about the world that you jumped into Miss?”
“Yes, but what is your name.”
“My name is Magnus Falk, I am descended from one of the first families of riders; and I am from Greenland. I find my entrance to the valley in the hills in the north of Greenland, where the snow is unforgiving to those who wander.” The man bowed after he spoke, when he straightened the brown dragons started to generate an electrical current.
“Why are they generating electricity?” Annalice asked as she stepped closer to Pyrope.
“They are communicating, the same way that Eels communicate in the water. These dragons do this on the land, but the currents they generate are nonlethal.” Magnus looked down at Annalice, seeing her edge towards the lake; edging towards a world that would ridicule her for what she knew.
“Okay. Do you know what they are saying?” Annalice looked at the great swirling creatures that had attacked her; they looked formidable floating in the air sending wisps of blue and red electricity between them.
“Oh, I don’t know. They don’t speak with the ambassador of the council often, or not since the time of the Vikings. You being a rider might make them more open, they will protect your young dragon when you are gone from Dragon Valley. But to answer your question properly, I cannot teach you how to speak with thought to other dragons, I know someone that can from within the council.” Magnus Falk looked at Annalice, hoping that she would agree to go see the Dragon Council, for the world needed the riders.
“So to be able to communicate properly with dragons, I have to go with you somewhere, somewhere that is not in Wales?” Annalice eyed the tall man; he didn’t look like he was from Greenland. But she had never seen someone from Greenland before, so it was hard to determine by looking at him if he was telling the truth.
“Yes, your training will start at the council building, but it will be continued in the Valley.” Magnus knew that the dragons could understand what he was saying, for the Eels were looking at him from where they circled. And the young red dragon looked to be uncertain of the situation, what she was thinking remained a mystery to him but not too it’s rider.
“Say I come with you, where would we be going?” Annalice stopped thinking about how to get back to the water fall and the safety behind it, but of the possibility of learning more of the area’s history and how it came to be.
“We would be going to the Alps; there is one area that is within the highest places that the dragons of old changed so that any could be there. It acts as the second safe haven if the Valley is compromised; it is a whole community within the mountains that isn’t viewable from the outside, unless you have been there before. The entrance is on the Valley floor, at the south end.” Magnus could tell that Annalice was thinking about going to see the council, he hoped she would, for it had many decades since there had been a dragon rider or dragon that wasn’t a protectorate.
“How long will it take, because I have to get back in time for school at the end of the month.” Annalice walked towards the grand oak tree, Pyrope closely followed Annalice as she didn’t want to be separated from her.
“The council shouldn’t take long; the last time the council met it was about a half hour that it lasted. This one might take a little longer as it isn’t every day that a rider emerges into Dragon Valley.” Magnus started to walk off to the south, following a path that he had taken numerous times to get to the cave that led to the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia Canada.
“Why is this place called Dragon Valley?” Annalice wanted to ask Magnus as he lived in the valley, and so would know more as a member of this dragon council.
“The first dragons made this place, it is rumored that Puff the Magic Dragon himself helped to make this place before disappearing to the depths. Entering the sea caves in this area is highly dangerous without a deep sea dragon, but there hasn’t been one in centuries as far as we know. I didn’t even think that Shimmers actual existed, but here your dragon is, as red as blood and as bright as the sun. Keep her safe from the world Miss, as the world is not ready for the creatures that you will meet at the council. And I advise you to try not to stare much, as there are those that are creatures from legend in the council.” Magnus looked over at Annalice and her small dragon plodding along after him, he felt honoured to have met the first rider and dragon after they had been nearly non-existent to the members of the council.
Annalice continued to follow Magnus across the valley floor; she mingled with Pyrope’s thoughts about what they might see, showing Pyrope images of Sasquatch’s, Faeries, Vampires, Lycanthropes, Fire and Ice Wraiths, Angle like beings. There were many more that she could only speculate, as Annalice didn’t know what could be hiding out in the world that she could only dream about. With great anticipation Annalice and Pyrope dashed ahead of Magnus, Pyrope took to the air and flew close to the ground. Even though they didn’t know where they were headed it was blissful to be out in the open, Pyrope was able to practise low flying and Annalice was able to get a good run in for even though she was unable to keep up with Pyrope across the valley floor.
It didn’t take long for the three of them to reach the cave that led to the Dragon Council; Magnus had to direct Annalice and Pyrope down the correct path at times but else wise they followed the path without knowing where their destination was located.